Megastar Sharon Cuneta was not joking when she announced late last year to selected media people that she wanted 2008 to be a busy year. Last night, January 10, the popular singer-actress made that point very clear—this time in front of a full-house Araneta Coliseum.
Looking fit and slim, Sharon celebrated her belated 42nd birthday in a concert with much aplomb before thousands of fans, family members, and friends. Dubbed as Sharon 2K8, the event seemed to indicate Sharon's fervent desire to make a loud comeback, particularly on the silver screen after a long lull.
VARIETY SHOW FORMAT. The concert started at 9 p.m. amidst loud cheers of the crowd that was already enthralled by the grand stage design, which resembled a ballroom with its chandelier-inspired backdrop that adorned the stage ceiling.
To make things lighter and familiar, especially for fans accustomed to seeing the Megastar on television, the concert adapted a variety show format. Roderick Paulate and Bayani Agbayani lent their hosting chops to ease the pressure on the birthday celebrator.
Oozing confidence in her all-black gown, Sharon held her own in the company of divas Pops Fernandez and Zsa Zsa Padilla. The three took turns belting out Beyonce Knowles's foxy smash hit "Irreplaceable," before shifting to the infectious Gwen Stefani number "The Sweet Escape."
The entire coliseumconvulsed with laughter as standup comics Pokwang and Chokoleit tried to outdo each other in posturing as the biggest Sharon Cuneta fan. After trading witty barbs coated with some of Sharon's famous movie lines, Pokwang and Chokoleit turned some of the Megastar's movie titles into songs—with melodies borrowed from OPM novelty tunes.
Martin Nievera did a duet with Sharon with the heart-wrenching ditty, "Kahit Isang Saglit." People wondered if Martin and estranged wife Pops had the chance to see each other backstage. Martin will also hold his anniversary concert at the Big Dome on February 1, to celebrate his 25th year in show business
World-class performer Bituin Escalante and Sharon joined forces in dishing out Regine Velasquez's ballad, "Dadalhin." The Megastar's voice perfectly suited Bituin's own hit, "Kung Ako Na Lang Sana," despite being almost drowned out by the sounds produced by the ensemble.
Ai-Ai delas Alas single-handedly made the crowd erupt with laughter when she mimicked Sharon's trademark onstage gestures. For complete effect, the popular comedienne descended from the stage and approached Sharon's husband, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, in full view of the Megastar herself who watched Ai-Ai's antics from the left side of the stage.
Fishing for a reaction from the birthday celebrant, Ai-Ai naughtily asked the amiable Kiko, "Puwede ba kiss?"
Acoustic performers Jimmy Bondoc and Top Suzara mellowed things down after Ai Ai's well-applauded performance. Together with Sharon, Top and Jimmy strummed their way through the lush tunes of "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," "I Wish That I Was Making Love To You Tonight," and "Getting to Know Each Other."
STEALING HER MOMMY'S THUNDER. Leave it to Sharon's daughter KC Concepcion to make the crowd, as well as her mom, gasping for air—literally.
KC rendered a theatrical performance to full perfection, leaving everyone spellbound. The pretty commercial model, supported with a body harness, circled the stage like an angel watching the crowd from above.
Asked for her comment on KC's performance, Sharon understatedly quipped: "I'm proud while kinakabahan at the same time."
A touching, special VTR was presented to Sharon wherein some of her friends greeted and congratulated her for the big concert.
The Megastar was also serenaded live by some of her closest male friends in the industry, like Bayani Agbayani, Mark Bautista, Albert Martinez, Dominic Ochoa, Gino Padilla, Randy Santiago, and Aga Muhlach.
Not to be outdone, Senator Kiko Pangilinan crooned two Ryan Cayabyab classics—"Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka" and "Ikaw Ang Tunay Na Ligaya"—while walking hand-in-hand with his blushing wife.
Piolo Pascual and Angel Locsin graced the occasion to greet Sharon and also to promote their upcoming ABS-CBN TV series, Lobo. The two sang a duet of Elliott Yamin's "Wait For You."
Wellwishers continuously poured in, led by director Joey Reyes, Manny Castañeda, Lorna Totlentino, Christine Bersola-Babao, Fanny Serrano, John "Sweet" Lapus, Ruffa Gutierrez, Agot Isidro, and Empoy.
As colorful confetti rained down on the Megastar, her three daughters—KC, Frankie and Miel—joined her onstage, relishing the moment with their overwhelmed mom. Minutes later, Kiko also went up onstage not just to accompany his wife, but to look after their two kids who made the huge stage their playground.